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Tuscany Beyond Gelaterias

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I bet that once in Florence you will go crazy with the variety of gelaterias (ice cream shops) and the most unimaginable ice cream flavours: liquorice, cappuccino, mint&chocolate, not to mention the ones inspired by the most popular Italian chocolates bacio (literally kiss), ferrero rocher… Italians, though, when thinking of Florence and food do not necessarily have ice cream in mind, because every Italian city has got at least one excellent ice cream shop. Well, actually there are always two best ones and as if they were football teams the city divide into the supporters of one or another.

gelato
Tuscany is indeed one of the regions famous for its olive oil production and the Chianti vines. This is what is evident when travelling through its landscape:  Smooth hills covered with grape-vines and olive trees. One of the typical appetizers is bruschette: difficult to pronounce but very easy to prepare: slice of bread rubbed with garlic and garnished with olive oil and (although not always) fresh tomato and parsley. They taste better  if you are enjoying it in the countryside, so be sure to spend at least one day evening outside the city.

You may be surprised that another typical Tuscany recipe is a sort of chestnut cake, the castgnaccio, made of chestnut flour, pine nuts, walnuts and rosemary, raisins. This is a plain cake as it is made without baking powder or sugar!

castgnaccio
Another similar dish is cecina, a cake made of chickpea flour, water and oil. This one though is supposed to have its origins in Liguria region and you can find it also in other Italian regions, as well as in the Moroccan and French Cuisine.

cecina
And before leaving Florence be sure to also dip the cantucci in the vin santo!

 

How about you? Have you had either of these Tuscan delights?

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ierra

Wednesday 8th of February 2012

@andi nope.. i never have one..well maybe,,but maybe not as luxury like that!! the ice cream looks creamy and delicious too,, ^_^

Carolyn Jung

Tuesday 7th of February 2012

Can I have the chestnut cake a la mode with a scoop of gelato? Leave it to my American sensibility to want it all. ;)

Andi

Tuesday 7th of February 2012

@Carolyn, of course, I see nothing wrong with that request!

ierra

Tuesday 7th of February 2012

that looks so delicious!

Andi

Tuesday 7th of February 2012

@Ierra, doesn't it? Have you ever had any of these?

San

Tuesday 7th of February 2012

I love Italian gelato... it's the best and there are so many flavors! I am also a big fan of bruschetta... :)

Andi

Tuesday 7th of February 2012

@San, I love gelato too, to me it is not as sweet as other ice creams, I love just the "natural" or plain yogurt flavored ones.